Book Review: Strength of Character by Joseph Kabuleta

strength of karacterI had seen the advertisement for the launch of the book on facebook but had assumed I would not be able to get my hands on it, not until months later when in a WhatsApp group someone mentions to make sure we read it, ‘its a must read,’ she said with emphasis. When friends recommend a book, especially friends who read, I am most likely to follow through; this person who is more an acquaintance but her ’emphasis’ on it being a good book for leaders, got me thinking, ‘I do need a copy’. So I browsed through my goodreads.com and Amazon; I was delighted to find it featuring on both platforms and immediately placed my order.

It has been a week now since I finished reading it and I must say, it has been one of the most life-changing reads on my ‘reading challenge list’ this year. For 185 pages, packed with the most eye-opening nuggets , ‘Strength of character ‘ is not just an engaging read because Kabuleta peppers the pages with colourful extravagant diction and humor, but it is in itself a ‘magic mirror’ that peels away at your soul and lays you bare before you – in painful revelatory self-analysis. Yes, I had my moment of clarity – I do have my own insecurities to work on.

Kabuleta is brave, he frees the reader by first off coming clean about his struggle, his painful path to finding wholeness from insecurity, posturing, and low self-esteem then goes on throughout the book to expertly outline examples of insecurity (with case study examples of  both men and women caught up in it) he expertly delves into each character with biblical references (and does make the tumultuous relationship between King Saul and David come alive so vividly as he illustrates the pitfalls of insecurity in leadership and relationships.

He breaks down the relationship we have with ourselves through unmasking identity and emotional retardation; these immediately force you to take a hard look at the man in the mirror and pose the question to yourself, “who are you really?”.

After a deep introspective ‘eval’ at your life, off the first one hundred or so pages, Joseph does not leave us hanging in desperation, raw and gasping for relief from facing our own issues, he provides us with a way out, because it is possible to be free, if we, first of all, recognize we have a problem, then choose to get free. It is not an easy process and like a ‘diet and exercise plan,’ it requires commitment. Yes, some days we will binge eat, other days we will not want to do that workout and other days we will want to give up because it is too painful, but he lets you know that ‘he who endures to the end will be saved,’

He gives the book a glossy finish of what to me is still a self-evaluation model ‘the ten things that prove the strength of character,’ you either have it or you are getting there…or you don’t.

Why does this book pop!

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Joseph Kabuleta, a highly acclaimed sports journalist turned preacher, bears the quality of a great reporter; the book is loaded with researched material and case scenarios that make the subject relatable. A subject like insecurity is a worldwide disease, in my opinion, so why not take a pique into the pages and find out how ‘well’ you are or not?

He is an incredible writer! Joseph writes like he speaks so the stories, advice, scriptures and research mesh together to form one long raw (yet graceful) and honest tête-à-tête, between reader and writer. One thing I know about good books is they do sound like intimate conversations between two friends, far from the scholastically banal material of self-help narration;  Joseph nails that aspect. I had many laugh-out-loud moments and my imagination was curiously heightened, vividly exploring every word and phrase through the lens of my mind whilst marking my own soul’s inventory health chart in the process. Although the editing and typesetting could do with another perusal, those imperfections don’t take away from the ‘weight’ of the subject matter in the book.

Maybe you don’t believe the bible and think the book will be a waste of time, I challenge you to try it, consider it one more attempt at figuring out your life, if you have tried every other self-help book, yoga, buddha, Alcoholic Anonymous , you name it and you are right back at square one. Something in these pages will stick out and nudge at you and it could just be the start of your journey to finally meeting ‘the man in the mirror’- you.

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